Security forces on Thursday attacked a peaceful rally of hundreds of teachers to disperse the crowds near the Zayanderud River in the central city of Isfahan.
Hundreds of teachers and educators in Isfahan, central Iran, rallied alongside the city’s famous Zayanderud River on Thursday, February 7, protesting the regim’s unjust policies, including the drying up of Zayanderud’s waters, and demanding changes.
Hundreds of people from other sectors joined and actively participated in the protests. The protesters had come out to demand that the government refrain from once again diverting Zayanderud’s water to other areas which had left the river completely dry.
Other strata of the society had also joined the massive protest rally to demand that the Zayanderud water to be allowed to permanently flow into the river.
Images shared on social media showed Isfahani teachers holding up pictures of jailed teachers demanding their release.
The water flowing into Zayanderud was temporarily opened by the government after hundreds of protests by Isfahan farmers who depend on the river for their crops and livelihood. Videos on social media showed water flowing once again after around nine years under the famous Khaju Bridge with people rejoicing around the bridge and one man even kissing the ground in joy.
However, the opening of the water into Zayanderud is temporary and protesters came out today to demand that the water be allowed to permanently flow into the river.
Following this widespread rally, welcomed from a variety of sectors in the society, especially the teachers, authorities dispatched repressive units to disperse the crowd. The security forces were seen firing tear gas and using pepper spray in attacking the demonstrators.
The protesters chanted, “A nation has never seen such injustice”, “Teachers would rather die than face dishonor”, and “Our enemy is right here; they lie when they say it’s the US”, meaning that the people believe that their enemy is the regime and not the US.
Iranian regime has a long and outrageous history of crackdown on peaceful protests.
More than 7,000 people were arrested in Iran in 2018 in what Amnesty International has called Tehran’s “year of shame” and a “shameless campaign of repression.”
“Iran’s authorities sought to stifle any sign of dissent by stepping up their crackdown on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly and carrying out mass arrests of protesters.”